More effort needed to keep women in the workforce

A HOLISTIC approach should be taken in maintaining the needs of women for them to return to the workforce, said state Women, Family Development and Gender Inclusiveness Committee chairman Chong Eng.

“For women to stay in work, strategic needs of creating an enabling environment and a supportive system is needed.

“More employers should be aware of the need for families to balance parenthood and have a work-life balance at the same time,” she said in a press statement recently.

Chong Eng also encouraged employers to offer more flexible working hours as well as childcare facilities to their female employees.

“One of the root causes in women dropout at the workplace is due to lack of childcare facilities.

“As a result, they are not attracted to return to the workforce since their main needs were not met,” she said.

Chong Eng also said the root causes should be identified and addressed to encourage women to return to work.

“The recent announcement for tax exemption for women returning from career breaks next year is a booster for them, and the initiative is good.

“This move also addresses the lack of double peak in female labour participation rate (FLPR) in Malaysia, but one of the reasons for the low FLPR is due to childbearing and marriage commitments from the women,” she said.

“As such, a holistic approach needs to be taken in this issue, so that it would be easier for women to share responsibilities in raising their children and domestic chores,” she added.

Chong Eng commended TalentCorp’s Career Comeback Initiative to provide incentives to employers who hire women after more than six months of career breaks, noting that the initiative saw 630 women returning to the workforce since 2015.

“These are an added advantage to the tax exemption to encourage women to return to work,” she said.